Research is a tradition in OHSU's Department of Dermatology with names such as Kingery, Fitzpatrick, Lerner, Lobitz, Wuepper, Montagna, Swanson, Hanifin, Storrs, Kulesz-Martin and Leachman contributing to the department's legacy. The design of the Research Division fosters interactions among basic and clinical scientists and the department's residents and fellows for novel and synergistic research activities and applications. In addition, an NIH training grant supports five trainees per year at the pre- and post-PhD and the post-MD levels to provide young researchers expert mentors from multiple disciplines.
The research division currently features two independent labs with 4 researchers and 9 postdocs, graduate students and technicians. The division encompasses basic, clinical and translational research in epithelial cell cancers and dermatologic diseases.
Basic and clinical research faculty are creating new tools and advancing knowledge in many areas:
- Skin cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma and melanomas, as well as head and neck cancer
- Adult stem and progenitor cells for wound healing
- Psoriasis and other skin proliferative disorders
- Autoimmune disorders, cellular determinants of HIV transmission and inflammatory bowel disease
- Laser light therapy and imaging below the surface of living tissue, including the structural elements that change with aging
- The molecular signals that cause skin disease, all aimed toward offering new, more effective ways to optimize skin health and treat skin disease.
- Vitiligo and piperine, a potential therapeutic treatment that has been demonstrated to enhance melanocyte growth in vivo.